Tuesday, February 7, 2017

By Andy Goodell

Leading-edge diversity research is alive and well at the University of Iowa College of Education.

Laila McCloud and DaVida Anderson smile alongside Emeritus Dean Nick Colangelo and Dean Dan Clay

Dean Dan Clay, Laila McCloud, DaVida Anderson, and Emeritus Dean Nick Colangelo.

The 2017 Martin Luther King Jr. Research Symposium was recently held at the Lindquist Center, showcasing University of Iowa College of Education graduate and undergraduate research projects, at all stages, related to diversity. The symposium is sponsored by Emeritus Dean Nicholas Colangelo, and hosted by the UI College of Education Diversity Committee.

A poster session related to the symposium was held in the morning with first, second, and third place winners recognized that afternoon.

Laura Szech, of Lake Bluff, Illinois, is currently seeking a Ph.D. in Language, Literacy, and Culture. She earned first place in the poster contest with, “Linguistically Diverse Books as ‘Mirrors.’”

“My research is about expanding our choices of children's books to include linguistic diversity,” says Szech. “I hope that my research can affect students who speak in African American Language by raising awareness that their language can also be positively represented in children's literature and their classrooms.”


DaVida Anderson, of York, Pennsylvania, and Laila McCloud, of Chicago, Illinois, earned second place in the poster contest with, “Relationships Matter: Perspectives on Black College Women’s Academic Success.” Anderson and McCloud are both seeking a Ph.D. in Higher Education and Student Affairs.


The aim of this research is to increase understandings of the personal, classroom and developmental experiences that influence African American women’s academic success so that faculty and staff can shape their practices to better suit the needs of this population,” says McCloud.


Kye Gon Lee smiles alongside Dean Dan Clay and Emeritus Dean Nick Colangelo

Dean Dan Clay, Kye Gon Lee, and Emeritus Dean Nick Colangelo.

Kye Gon Lee, of Jeonju, South Korea, is currently seeking a Ph.D. in Foreign Language and ESL Education. Lee earned third place with, “Family Language Policy and Korean-English Bilingual Code-switching.”


My research was conducted based on my personal motivation as a parent and a researcher in considering how a marginalized second language can be maintained at home if it is not offered in their school system,” Lee says. “As I examined my family members’ language use, I realized that using, or switching between, both languages has significant implications for the development of their cultural identity and that their bilingualism should not be considered a deficit; but rather as a beneficial resource at home as well as in an ESL context at their school.”

Lee goes on to note that there are specific benefits to bilingualism.

“This could be their opportunity to be a cultural ambassador in different communities,” says Lee. “With respect to multilingual education, efforts in maintaining their heritage language are crucial in their interactions with parents and their cultural community and that it is essential to cultivate supportive tools or resources for bilingual development.”

The symposium also featured valuable research topics presented in poster form from the following UI College of Education students.

  • Carrie Aldrich (Language, Literacy, and Culture)
    Linguistic diversity in graduate education: Understanding L2 doctoral students’ writerly identities
  • Jonique Childs (Counselor Education and Supervision)
    Multicultural Supervision Practices: The examination of Cultural Humility within culturally competent supervision
  • Ismail Dilek (Educational Measurement and Statistics)
    Effects of Teacher Education Reform in Turkish Education System on Assessment Procedures used in the Classroom
  • Dellyssa Edinboro (Schools, Culture, and Society)
    Bridging the Gap for Low Socioeconomic Status (SES) Black Students’ transition to Graduate School: Academic Self- Efficacy in Summer Research Opportunity Programs (SROPs)
  • Josephine Fernando, Saeed Alqahtani, Patricia Bahr and James Stachiowak (Special Education)
    Assistive Technology and Students with Reading Disabilities
  • Liza Hurley, Molly Elizalde, and Paula Kinney (Higher Education and Student Affairs)
    Good Housekeeping: Housing Experiences Matter to LGBTQ College Student Success

Prior to the award ceremony, those attending the symposium heard from keynote speaker, Lisa Flores, a professor in the Department of Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology at the University of Missouri College of Education. She spoke on, “Addressing Inequalities in Education: Using Research as a Tool for Social Justice.”